When a person goes to war, it is expected that things will happen. So many of our vets come home with issues in varying forms. The military and VA aren’t always the best about effectively fixing the problems people have. They like to medicate, which in my opinion just numbs everything. So when something great and wonderful comes along that can truly help, I want to share it with everyone!
My husband suffers from the after effects of TBI’s (Traumatic Brain Injury) from his deployments. If you are unfamiliar with the term, basically, he got his head scrambled from being to close to IED’s blowing up and other similar explosions. Multiple concussions can cause the same effects. He was only officially diagnosed with TBI’s earlier this year, but we’ve known about them for years. Because of the TBI’s, he has had problems since he came back from his first deployment in 2007, including migraines, anxiety, insomnia, and photo sensitivity. He gets migraines more than a person should. I swear that man eats migraine medicine like it’s candy.
The military and the VA won’t do much for you besides give you medication. I’m not a huge fan of medication. He was on stuff for a while, but it pretty much just made him a zombie, so he stopped taking everything. A person can’t go through life like that. He got a referral for the Irlen Institute in Long Beach, CA. The Semper Fi Fund actually paid for all of this. He went for a battery of testing and was then given a pair of glasses, specially made for him. These glasses are the greatest thing ever. I’ll explain in a minute.
The Irlen Institue was founded by Helen Irlen in 1983. Irlen Syndrome is a visual perceptual disorder and neurologically based. It’s a brain problem. The Institute helps those with autism, dyslexia, reading problems, light sensitivity, migraines, and head injuries improve reading, comprehension, and concentration. They use 10 color overlays to create hundreds of different tints, which are then used on the lenses of glasses. I don’t know how well I can explain this, but I’ll try. We have different levels of light sensitivity. How our brain processes the light affects so much. It can affect how we see, how we see certain things, and how we feel. Some people have problems reading because the words tend to swirl on the page or have a ripple effect. It makes reading and concentration hard. These lenses can help the brain see the words correctly. This is how it helps those with dyslexia. I don’t completely understand it, but I know it works. They can help with a number of problems that our military has, including TBI, PTSD, and depression. If a simple pair of glasses can do that, why doesn’t everyone have them?!?!?!
My husband has had his glasses about a week. He has a constant headache. The degree of it varies from a dull ache behind his eyes to a raging migraine. Obviously, this makes him irritable. He also has some issues reading, concentrating, and with fatigue. He never had issues prior to his deployments. The first day he wore his glasses, he called me and said he was happy because he wasn’t irritated. It was the first day in forever that he didn’t have a headache. He says it was almost instantaneous. His world has just kinda righted itself again after being upside down for the past 7 years. Everyone he knows that has these glasses has said the same thing. The glasses look like sunglasses, so I told him he looked like one of those guys who wears his sunglasses indoors, but if they help, then who cares. Hopefully they’ll greatly reduce his headaches if not get rid of them all together, improve his attention and concentration, reduce medication use, allow him to read, and all that goes with it, with no difficulties, improve his night driving, and basically make him normal again. I just can’t believe that this isn’t talked about more. I’ve told numerous people about them and no one has heard of them.
You can read more about The Irlen Institue on their website or check out this document for a breakdown of everything (it breaks it down way better than I can, page 93 and on is related to the military). Bless The Semper Fi Fund for doing this. It’s a blessing to get some relief for him that doesn’t involve doping him up. I just wish and hope everyone with issues would first admit they have issues and then have the opportunity for something like this.